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Moonday at the Keep

You approach the keep. Surrounded by 30 ft. high walls & a solid iron gate, it appears to be impenatrable. Gaurds patrol every 5-10 mins inside the walls, with 3 more posted at the gate presumably to greet visitors. You head for the gate & state your business. One of the guards pulls out a well worn scroll, looks at it, reads off your names, then says "follow me please". The gate is opened, then closed behind you. You are escorted to the massive wooden double doors that mark the entrance to King Arions home. From here, yet another guard escorts you inside to what appears to be a rather large parlor. Tastefully decorated in muted shades of brown & beige, the room helps to alleviate the austerity of the heavily guarded outer fortress. Two serving maids approach & ask if you'd like something to drink, informing you that ' his highness ' will be with you shortly if you'd care to have a seat. 3 softly cushioned floral sofa's are the rooms main attraction along with 1/2 dozen straight backed chairs. As you take your seat & recieve your drinks, a large human male with kind brown eyes, & long flowing brown hair walks into the room flanked by the knight you saw earlier at the town hall & an older wise looking man behind them. Looking at each of you with kind appraisel, he raises a hand indicating you should stay seated then sits down himself as the knight moves to stand by his side. The man greets you in a deep bass voice "I am Arion Dolin", As you know, we seek those willing to travel the realm on a mission of exploration. Before we begin, who here knows how to make accurate maps?
After looking around the room at everyones lack of response Cole stands up & says "Icanyourmajesty"
With a surprised look on his face the King glances towards the knight at his side who shrugs, then back at you and continues. " Anyone else?"
When no one else replies he says "weeeell alright then, I suppose that one mapper will suffice provided the journey is relatively uneventfull" He pauses looking again at each of you then continues. " As I'm sure you're aware, for many years now people have been disappearing from around the kingdom. The THINGS responsible for this have until now proved impossible to vanquish. Now though, it would seem that the disappearances have stopped. The raping & pillaging of the outlying cities has stopped, & the reports of monster sightings has stopped. We'd like to find out if they are truly gone but sadly my troops are all but destroyed by these many years of war.
That is where you come in. With all the burning, raiding, & lack of upkeep for 30 yrs now, there is bound to be alot of changes that will need to be mapped. Also needing to be accomplished, is reporting to each of the outlying villages, determining thier status, relating news of what you've found, & rendering aid as needed. Eventually, once all the groups have returned, I hope that we can then begin to rebuild the Kingdom. We've decided on groups of 10 plus one of my personal guard who carries a letter of introduction from me as well as my personal seal to be presented to the governors of the outer towns & villages validating you & your mission.
I'm afraid however, that due to the lack of trade these many years, that gold is scarce. So by way of a reward, I cannot offer much at this time. Certainly your choice of weapon & armor from my personal armory, & definately title to unoccupied lands anywhere in the kingdom. Should that not suffice, other payment can certainly be discussed.
Pikahl" and here he looks to the knight again before proceeding "has gifted us with these" and he pulls out 10 glass vials filled with blue colored liquid from a small wooden chest. "Should the need arise & you find yourself wounded, Pikahl has granted that each of you receive these potions of healing. But use them only if the need is great!
" Can I, ..... Can We count on you brave souls to aid the kingdom in this time of need?"

Caoimhin steps forward. "Caoimhin Dubhlachan is at your service, lord. If the scourge that has laid waste to this land is indeed lifted, then we, the proud Coisichean, can return to the roads and resume our lives. We must know if it is once again safe to travel. This knowledge is reward great enough for me."

With notable difficulty, Malinia struggles to maintain control; streaks of red flash through her eyes. Finally, she manages to spit out, "Revenge will suffice as my reward."

At this point...
The knight leans over and mentions something softly to the king. Who then whispers something back to him. You are unable to hear this exchange.

Kendra stands and walks toward the king taking a deep bow in front of him "Your highness, it would be a great pleasure to serve you during this time of need. I appreciate your honesty about your method of payment and am sure the people of this country thank you for not taxing them to pay us. Any provisions or supplies that you could spare for those needing it along the way would be greatly appreciated. I will do my best to help the good people of this country." She then walks to the wooden chest and removes one glass vial and places it in her healing satchel.

Jayar rises and bows to the King, looking uncomfortable doing so. "Your Highness, I would be happy to undertake this mission in your name. I thank you for the healing potion, it will probably come in very handy."

Standing up from the chair he was sitting on at the back of the room, Malissin bows towards the king. "Yes, your majesty, you can count on my aid. The chance to once again roam the lands openly, plus the possibility of hunting the creatures responsible for our current state of affairs, is too good a chance to pass up," says Malissin.

"Aye, I'll accept these terms." says Jarryd.

Stepping up to the king Cole bows and replies
stepping away then turning back to the king and grabbing my potion
Putting the potion into my pocket I return to my chair and listen to the remainder of the meeting.

Athos rises from his seat and give a low bow to King Arion and makes eye contact with him, "My Lord, my name, as you probably already know is Athos Kryn. I come from the village Loder near this city. This quest will not only be to uphold your quest but also to avenge the many who died defending my village from the THINGS. I feel you have been generous enough already, but perhaps you have an older map of the surrounding country for our group to check and make a general terms of path from?" With that Athos bows again and takes his seat.

King Arion replies
" An old survey map will be provided. It's not much I'm afraid but it's the only thing we have even close to being correct. It was created on back of a Pegasis many years ago. The roads are not included nor are most of the smaller towns but the terrain is all there. Yes indeed Young lady. We will be sending along basic medical supplies as well as seeds for planting, and rations for extreme emergencies towards aiding those that have need. Now, " He looks around to see if there are anymore questions. "Would any or all of you care to accompany Gareth" he indicates the knight "to the armory to see if there is anything you need? We'd like to get the mission underway as soon as possible. After Lunch perhaps?"

" I will also be glad to aid you your highness," Jason says with a touch of red in his face. " I'm sorry it took so long for me to answer you, I have been listening to everyone so attentively. Thank you for the healing potion, there is no telling when one of these will come in handy. I will not need any armour or weapon though, I do try to stay out of the middle of a battle as best as possable." With that, Jason sits down and begins looking around the room.

The Armory